30 NOV, 2021

Employment in the Greater Bay Area from the Perspective of Hong Kong Youth

Written by : CK Law, David Lai, Justin Chan

Following the Central Government’s promulgation of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in February 2019, the Chief Executive announced in the 2020 Policy Address the launch of the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme, while Mainland authorities continue to offer policy support for Hong Kong and Macao’s youth. With these policies in place, what do young people think of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and its job opportunities? What role does the GBA play in their long-term career planning?


MWYO commissioned the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong to conduct a survey from late May to early July 2021. Compared with a survey on a similar subject conducted in 2019, young people’s interest in developing a career in the GBA has experienced a slight drop of 1.3 percentage points, while more young people are proactively looking for jobs in the GBA, with an increase of 7.6 percentage points. Fewer young people believed that they had knowledge of GBA development policies and plans, which is an indication that more information should be provided. Moreover, fewer young people believed that working in the GBA is a trend for them, decreasing by 4.4 percentage points. This reflects that some young people have realised the difficulty of developing their career in the GBA upon searching for jobs there. The numbers cited in this paragraph are based on the net percentage, which is defined as the difference between the percentage of respondents giving a positive answer and those giving a negative answer.


In view of the issues above, MWYO had previously offered policy recommendations based on the survey in 2019. In response to the changes in society and the economy during the past two years, we have put forward eight recommendations as follows:


  1. Provide career and living support on online platforms and in local offices in GBA cities
  2. Strengthen the role of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Development Office
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Greater Bay Area Youth Employment Scheme
  4. Review the quality of exchange and internship programmes in the GBA, and provide guidelines for hosting organisations
  5. Continue to expand the subsidies, concessions and channels for further studies and employment in the GBA
  6. Encourage Hong Kong youth to participate sports and cultural exchange programmes in the GBA
  7. Implement the Working Holiday Scheme in GBA cities and make better use of co-working spaces and youth entrepreneurial bases
  8. Facilitate talent mobility among the cities in the GBA